The Sunday Sampler – EMU

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Trey Womack broke free on a fake punt and scored a TD.

The Virginia punt coverage team put together another strong performance on Saturday night in the 48-21 win against Eastern Michigan. There was, of course, the fake that led to a Trey Womack touchdown. The unit also locked up the Eagles on three other kicks as the special teams had an all-around great night in Scott Stadium.

The fake punt drew the loudest roar from the sparse crowd, though. And why not? The call was perfectly timed and the play was perfectly executed. The Hoos lined up in their standard shield punt formation with three protectors in the shield ahead of punter Jimmy Howell . The Cavalier gunners spread across the line of scrimmage with Womack aligned to the outside as the final player to the right of long snapper Danny Aiken .

At the snap, UVa executed its “rocket” fake. As Howell catches the ball, the three shield protectors immediately drop and cut block the innermost players of the six Eagles running into the shield area in an attempt to stuff the punt. The all-out blitz call played perfectly into Virginia’s plans.

“It’s just a little screen. I have some familiarity with it because I ran that play in high school about three times a game [at receiver] and Jimmy being a high school quarterback, we knew if we got that look with an all-out blitz that it was going to be there,” Womack said. “He just delivered the ball perfectly. Everybody blitzed. Everybody got downfield and believe it or not, there were three people on the punt returner [to block] so it was basically a walk-in. Anybody can do that.”

Indeed with six players crashing into the backfield, Womack was all alone when he caught the ball with six blockers releasing downfield to lead the way. As he ran from right to left behind the line of scrimmage, there wasn’t an EMU defender within 10 feet of Womack as he caught the ball. No one got any closer as he turned up the home sidelines and sprinted for the end zone. The Hoos had walled off any remaining